Overturn Negativity:
Observe and Assess

Overturn-Negativity-Observe-AssessNegativity affects everything and everyone. Negative thinking can be a pervasive handicap, but as I shared in my last post, it is possible to overturn negativity.

Become an observer. As situations impact you, try to take a step back and sense what’s happening. What kinds of thoughts come to mind? Are they negative?

A tougher challenge, but necessary, is to determine the legitimacy of your perspective. Are your thoughts based on the facts of past experiences or just your impressions of them? Are you letting stories replay themselves in your head to influence your viewpoint? It’s easy to do. Ask yourself if what you’re experiencing is really that bad. It rarely is.

Recognize that past negative outcomes seem more prominent in our minds than positive ones, thus people tend to more heavily emphasize the negative. Realize that you are just as vulnerable to this trait, or negativity bias, as everyone else.

This can help you question the validity of negative thoughts or impressions. Maybe they’re flawed. Try to set them off at a distance, just for a moment, and give them a subjective evaluation. Seek a true sense of reality.

Many leaders and executives don’t make the effort to do this. I’ve seen this in my coaching practice: some may even react by brooding or complaining. But in the long run, it’s detrimental. So instead, work through the issue. Let an experienced coach help you. You can become consistently conscious of your thought process, giving you the beneficial ability to step back and assess.

Assess Your Responses

Think back to similar circumstances and try to see a pattern of how you responded. Does this specific issue always set you off, or make you feel defeated? Did every attempt to follow a similar plan result in failure? Did you get blamed every time things like this didn’t work out? This review can help you realize that the answer is no.

Psychologist and author Martin Seligman, known for his work in the subject of positive psychology, is a pioneer of this approach. A pattern of negative behavior, once identified, can be challenged. Injecting realism, especially with the insight of others, will help with a fair comparison of past negative and positive experiences.

You see, by exposing negative thoughts as invalid, they lose their power. Positive viewpoints are given more credit, resulting in a broader, balanced perspective. There is no need to automatically fall back to a negative mindset, as it certainly does no good.

What do you think? Have you practiced assessing your thought process and responses? How was the experience? I’d love to hear from you. Give me a call, 704-827-4474. Or, you can reach me here and on LinkedIn.

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